Where: Target Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota
The American League East-leading Baltimore Orioles look to avoid a third consecutive loss when they visit the Minnesota Twins on Thursday to make up a contest that was rained out on May 9. Baltimore, which owns a two-game division lead over Toronto, was limited to seven runs during a three-game series against Colorado that began with a 3-2 victory but ended with back-to-back defeats.
Manny Machado is riding a seven-game hitting streak after producing the Orioles’ lone run on Wednesday with his 21st homer. Minnesota will be attempting to halt a losing streak that reached three games with Wednesday’s 9-7 loss to Atlanta. Every member of the lineup recorded at least one hit for the Twins, who fell into a 7-0 hole and battled back to get within 8-7 before having their AL-worst record drop to 37-63. Kurt Suzuki has hit safely in six of his last seven contests after going 2-for-4 with a two-run homer in the defeat.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, MASN (Baltimore)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Orioles RH Ubaldo Jimenez (5-9, 7.38 ERA) vs. Twins RH Kyle Gibson (3-6, 4.67)
After appearing to have possibly turned the corner with back-to-back solid starts, Jimenez has been roughed up in each of his last two outings, surrendering 11 runs and 11 hits over 5 2/3 innings in a pair of losses. The 32-year-old Dominican, who allowed three runs and seven hits over 11 frames in two victories over San Diego on June 22 and 28, has been tagged for at least five runs 10 times this year. Jimenez improved to 5-3 with a 2.55 ERA in 10 career games (nine starts) against Minnesota on April 7, yielding two runs – one earned – and eight hits over seven innings in his season debut.
Gibson recorded his third win in four decisions on Friday, when he gave up one run and two hits in eight innings at Boston. It was the longest outing of the year for the 28-year-old native of Indiana, who yielded four runs in each of his previous three turns. Gibson’s career record against the Orioles evened out at 1-1 on April 6 after he surrendered four runs on seven hits and five walks in five frames at Baltimore.
1. Twins DH Kennys Vargas is riding a five-game hitting streak during which he is 6-for-18.
2. Baltimore C Matt Wieters went 2-for-4 on Wednesday after recording just one hit over his previous 10 games.
3. Minnesota OF Eddie Rosario has hit safely in only two of his last five contests but has collected six hits in those games.
PREDICTION: Twins 5, Orioles 4